Childhood obesity is on the rise. Millions of American children suffer from obesity, and the number continues to rise. Not only can obesity compromise your children's health when they are young, but it can also have repercussions as they grow into adulthood. To help your children achieve life-long good health, start with these easy ways to introduce healthy habits into their daily lives.
Start each day with a healthy breakfast.
Studies show that a breakfast low in sugar and high in protein can give your child an energy boost that will last throughout the whole morning. Having breakfast has also been proven to enhance academic performance. Instead of allowing children to consume sugary cereals or fruit juices, choose eggs, lean protein (like turkey sausage), or Greek yogurt.
Cut down on junk food and offer healthy snacks throughout the day.
No surprise here – healthy snacking is key to better overall health. Stock your kitchen with cut-up vegetables and fruit instead of chips and candy. Other easy snack ideas include whole-grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, light popcorn, baked chips and low-fat dip, nuts, granola bars, and raisins.
Limit screen time to less than two hours each day.
Kids that spend too much time in front of screens tend to be less physically active. If your child often uses the computer, plays video games, and/or watches television, find a way to reduce screen time. One of the best ways to do this is by setting a schedule for screen time. You may also want to use a timer, so your kids know how much time they are allowed each day.
Get moving every day.
Daily play outdoors, riding a bike, playing tag, or walking the dog are all ways to increase your child's activity level. Doing physical activity every day will help your child manage his or her weight easily and has been shown to help reduce stress levels. Plus, researchers have found that adults who were more active as children have a lower risk of several metabolic diseases, including diabetes, later in life - so, the importance of this cannot be overstated!
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